Anyone who has been married for a long time knows that there are ups and downs. As is the case with any meaningful relationship, you do not always see eye to eye in every circumstance. Sometimes, that results in a disagreement, but usually, you end up working it out, compromising, or at the very least agreeing to disagree.

When it comes to transitioning to retirement, a fair amount of strain can be put on even the happiest of marriages. With any major life change, there comes an adjustment period and a time to manage your expectations and reach compromises with your spouse about what you see your retirement looking like.

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The retirement planning process requires preparing for the unexpected. What happens if your carefully laid plan is beset by an unforeseen medical issue? Chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s – or any other illness that inevitably leads to a substantially diminished physical or mental capacity – can quickly overwhelm even the most carefully constructed retirement plan. Having contingency conversations with your planner often and early will help establish the trust needed to facilitate open and honest communication in the event of such an unanticipated event.

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